Draft Spec mark 2
ldodds at INGENTA.COM
Fri Sep 1 13:29:25 CEST 2000
> -----Original Message-----
> From: TDWG - Structure of Descriptive Data [mailto:TDWG-SDD at usobi.org]On
> Behalf Of Una Smith
> Sent: 01 September 2000 13:18
> To: TDWG-SDD at usobi.org
> Subject: Re: Draft Spec mark 2
> On Fri, 1 Sep 2000, Erik Westlin wrote:
> >Plant descriptive data is much to complex to be captured in XML which is
> >more geared towards presentation than representation.
> I'll second that. I use LaTeX, and previously used a precursor to SGML,
> to typeset all my printed documents. These *typesetting* languages are
> great for defining the appearance of the content of documents, but they
> are utterly inadequate for representing the content (ie., data) itself.
XML is *not* a typesetting language. Its a meta-language for defining other
just as SGML was. It is *not* limited to describing documents, and its far
from being a limited to describing layout.
My own doodlings with XML and Taxonomic data  shows that the DELTA
format can be expressed as XML without loss of information.
Its probably too early to get mired in syntax discussions - at present it
may be better to assume that all examples merely that - not formal
proposals for how the serialised data should look.
The model is the important issue at the moment. Once that is nearing
decisions on a serialisation syntax (XML or something else) can then be
made in highlight of concrete examples and data.
Personally speaking, I'd be surprised if there were aspects of a taxonomic
data model which *couldn't* be adequately expressed in XML. At most
I'd expect there to be some contortions in the syntax, rather than a
inability to represent the data. The question is then, how much does the
'sugar' outweigh the network effect of embracing a standard like XML.
Leigh Dodds, Systems Architect | "Pluralitas non est ponenda
http://weblogs.userland.com/eclectic | sine necessitate"
http://www.xml.com/pub/xmldeviant | -- William of Ockham
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